Miller, Karl Ottfried

Miller, Karl Ottfried one of the most distinguished classical scholars of recent times, is noted for his labors in the department of comparative religion, having furnished works very valuable on Grecian mythology and religion. He was born August 28, 1797, at Brieg, in Silesia, and received a careful education. He devoted himself, at the universities of Breslau and Berlin to philological and archaeological studies, and the first fruit of his learning was the publication of the AEgineticorum Liber (Berlin, 1817). Shortly after he received an appointment to the Magdalenum in Breslau, where his leisure hours were devoted to a grand attempt to analyze the whole circle of Greek myths. In 1819 he obtained an archaeological chair in Gottingen; and to thoroughly prepare himself for it, visited the collections in Germany, France, and England. His great design was to embrace the whole life of ancient Greece, its art, politics, industry, religion, in one warm and vivid conception — in a word, to cover the skeletons of antiquity with flesh, and to make the dry bones live. With this view he lectured and wrote with a fine, earnest animation, until the political troubles in Hanover made his position uncomfortable. He obtained permission to travel, and made tours in Greece and Italy, but unfortunately died of an intermittent fever at Athens, Aug. 1, 1840. Miller's literary and scholarly activity stretched over the whole field of Greek antiquity, furnishing many' new and striking elucidations of the geography and topography, literature, grammar, mythology, manners and customs of the ancients. The work of special interest to us is his Prolegomena zu einer wissenschaftlichen Mythologie (Gottingen, 1825, 8vo; Engl. by Leitch, Lond. 1844, 8vo). His work on the Dorians is also valuable to the student of comparative religion, as well as his work on the Etruscans. "Miller," says a contemporary, "was a man of the most extensive and varied acquirements, and of a keen and penetrating judgment. lie acquired a European reputation at a comparatively early age. His numerous works, however, are not all of equal merit, and the two faults more particularly to be noticed are his great haste in the composition of his works and a tendency to theorize and generalize on insufficient grounds. But in extent of knowledge and reading there scarcely ever was a scholar who surpassed him." See Neuer Nekrolog der Deutschenfiir 1841; Lucke, Erinnerungen an Karl Ottfried Miiller (Getting. 1841, 8vo), which contains an admirable delineation of Muller's personal character.

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